Whether in academic writing, creative writing, blogging, business communication, or any other form of writing, there is typically no place for errors. Depending on the specific purpose you are writing for, even a few grammar, style, punctuation, or other mistakes can ruin your reputation and hold you back from achieving set goals. Therefore, everyone stresses so much the importance of proofreading and editing.
Indeed, when working on an academic paper, letter, article, or any other type of text, writing is only a part of the process. After that comes proofreading and editing. But, what exactly does it mean to proofread and edit your text? And what is the difference between these two processes?
In this article, we are going to tell you more about each to help you grasp the difference. Let’s dive in!
What Is Editing?
When we talk about editing, the first thing that typically comes to mind is that the core aim of this process is to identify and eliminate any grammar or spelling mistakes that might be in a piece of writing. That’s true. Fixing errors is one of the tasks completed by editing. But, in fact, it goes far beyond that. Apart from revising a piece in terms of grammar, punctuation, and spelling, editing also involves revising the organization, content, and presentation of your text. And the core purpose of this process is to ensure that the final piece is error-free and as clear as possible.
Probably the first time people are facing editing is during their studies. While being a school or college student, you will inevitably face tons of academic assignments that imply writing and, respectively, editing. These include all sorts of essays, research papers, dissertations, lab reports, and more. And this is the type of task that students struggle with the most. Luckily, today, there is the possibility to have someone else write my essays online and delegate all writing matters to professional writers, who know how to get you the highest grade.
A professional essay writing service can also assist you with editing your own papers. However, even if you choose to delegate your tasks and pay for essay in USA, editing would still remain one of those skills one must acquire to ensure future success.
Even if your future career won’t be connected with writing directly, chances are that you will still have to write plenty of stuff. Business communication, reports, emails, and other types of professional writing also require careful editing. Thus, the importance of editing can’t be undervalued.
What Is Proofreading?
Just like editing, proofreading is also an integral part of the writing process, and you will also have to face it while still being a student. But, the core concept behind this process is a bit different.
While editing is a more all-encompassing process, proofreading focuses on smaller details. Proofreading also includes checking a piece of writing for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. However, it requires you to delve deeper into small details rather than check the text superficially. And, one more thing you need to know about this process is that proofreading is actually a part of the overall editing process, or, to be more precise, the final part of this process.
Editing vs. Proofreading: What’s the Difference?
Now that you have the definitions, let’s take a closer look at the specific distinctive features of editing and proofreading:
- The editing process begins on the first draft of the piece and continues until you get a final, well-polished draft. Proofreading, on the contrary, is always performed on the final draft of the piece.
- Editing focuses on the overall features of writing and strives to improve the overall quality of the first draft. Proofreading addresses more specific issues and really goes into detail.
- Editing your first draft can include reducing or expanding the word count (when applicable), whereas by the proofreading stage, you should already have a final draft that meets the given word count, so no word reduction is required.
- While editing your papers, you will not only identify and fix errors but also work on improving the language, readability, and clarity of writing. When proofreading, you will eliminate remaining grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, check the piece for any inconsistencies, improve formatting, etc.
- Editing is an ongoing, time-consuming process with a large scope of work. Since proofreading is the final stage of the overall editing process, it has a shorter turnaround time.
- The goal of editing is to enhance the overall quality of the first draft. The main aim of proofreading is to make an already good piece even better.
The Bottom Line
After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of the core ideas behind editing and proofreading, as well as of the importance of each, and finally should be able to see the difference between these two processes. Now, the last question that might still be there is – which one is the most important? And, the answer is – both.
Being the final stage of the editing process, proofreading has no less value for your writing. Respectively, these two processes just can’t exist without each other. So, if you really want to make your writing flawless, whether it is for your studies, job, or any other purpose, you should start mastering the art of effective editing and proofreading right now. Or, if you have trouble revising your own writing, you should at least have an idea of where you can get professional help.